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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Popular fishing, swimming lakes in Chisago Lakes chain move toward delisting

Two lakes in the Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes could soon be removed from the Impaired Waters List. After 10 years and more than $2.2 million in water-quality improvements, Chisago SWCD and NRCS’ work with landowners in Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City and surrounding townships seems to be paying off. Clean Water Fund grants are in play. The lake improvement district is a vital partner. Click here for full story.

Watershed-based funding spurs cooperation

A new funding model allows a timely, local response to watersheds’ highest priority needs. This alternative to the traditional project-by-project grant process brings local governments together to implement water-quality improvements benefitting a specific watershed. Click here for full story.

Polk County's Sand Hill River Watershed District at forefront of drainage solutions

"When you go into a water problem, 99 percent of the time it’s nothing to do with water."" — Daniel Wilkens, recently retired Sand Hill River Watershed District administrator, Red River Watershed Management Board founding member, stakeholder Drainage Work Group member, longtime farmer.
The ditch specifications used in Polk County’s Sand Hill River Watershed District are now widely used elsewhere. Click here for full story.

St. Louis County septic solutions protect groundwater, lakes, rivers, wetlands

St. Louis County has reduced the amount of sewage discharged to adjacent wetlands, lakes, streams, rivers or groundwater by about 3.95 million gallons per year as a result of two related programs.
Twenty-eight homeowners’ septic systems have been repaired, replaced or connected to a municipal sewer system since 2012 using Clean Water Funds plus the county’s local match. Three additional homeowners have been approved for replacements in 2019; one more house will be connected to a municipal sewer system. Click here for full story.

Crow Wing County leverages funds to cap unsealed wells

A cost-share program in Crow Wing County supported by the Clean Water Fund assists landowners in capping abandoned wells. Improperly sealed wells are prone to contamination from surface materials, posing risks to drinking water. The initiative has far exceeded a 2013 goal to cap 20 wells in 10 years — 186 wells have been sealed since 2012. Click here for full story.

Plant of the Month: Large-flowered bellwort

Ants help to spread this spring bloomer, which is native to deciduous forests and popular among people and pollinators in planted shade gardens. Nodding flowers, twisted petals and stem-pierced leaves distinguish this plant.
Botanist Susan Nelson, a volunteer invasive plant surveyor, provides specifics about March’s Plant of the Month. Click here for full story.

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February 19, 2019

BWSR 2019 Budget Fact Sheet

St. Paul, Minn. — Governor Tim Walz released his budget plan for the 2020-2021 biennium on Feb. 19. Click here to read more about what the budget means for BWSR.

· Budget for One Minnesota Fact Sheet
· Community Prosperity Budget Fact Sheet
· Education Budget Fact Sheet
· Health Care Budget Fact Sheet

December 27, 2018

BWSR Awards $13.7 million in Clean Water Fund Grants

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved $13.7 million in Clean Water Fund grants on December 19 to improve water quality in streams, lakes, and groundwater across the state. Read the press release here.

December 12, 2018

Recognizing excellence in conservation

BWSR is pleased to announce the 2016 outstanding conservation award winners.

2018 Outstanding Watershed District Employee of the Year
Dan Livdahl, Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District

2018 Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District Employee of the Year
Donna Rasmussen, Fillmore Soil and Water Conservation District

November 1, 2018

Wetland Banking Listening Sessions

The Board of Water and Soil Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District are planning listening sessions in January 2019 to solicit feedback on ways to improve wetland banking in Minnesota. Topics to be covered at the sessions include: wetland banking forms, agency guidance, communication, agency review comments, and credit releases. Individuals interested in participating are asked to register in advance. Please read informational public notice for more information.

August 27, 2018

Local Governments Collaborate on Water Planning

St. Paul, Minn. — Continuing statewide work to shift local water planning to a more coordinated approach, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved nine new planning grants for the One Watershed, One Plan program. The August 23rd board action allocates up to $2,200,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund nine planning projects to address water issues on a watershed basis. Read the press release here.

August 23, 2018

BWSR Board visits Rock and Nobles counties on annual tour

St. Paul, Minn. — Exploring the unique opportunities and challenges facing southwest Minnesota, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) gathered local, state, and federal conservation staff for its annual Board Tour on August 22 in Rock and Nobles counties. The tour offers board members and staff a valuable opportunity to experience local conservation delivery in action by visiting a variety of projects that aim to improve water quality in the region. Read the press release here.

Announcements Archive

To view previous announcements, visit the archive

Legacy Amendment

Legacy Amendment logoInformation For Citizens: How These Dollars Are Being Spent and How You Can Participate

BWSR receives appropriations from the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment to pay for on-the-ground conservation projects that provide multiple benefits for water quality and wildlife habitat.

Buffer Program

Enacted 2015 legislation requires a new approach to buffers for designated waters in Minnesota. For more information on the Buffer Initiative, please visit

To view the State buffer page, click:

Minnesota CREP

In January 2017 Governor Mark Dayton signed a $500 million Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. This federal, state, and local partnership will work with farmers and other landowners across 54 counties in southern and western Minnesota who choose to voluntarily implement conservation practices on up to 60,000 acres of land to restore and protect water quality and enhance habitat.

Click here to learn more about the program.

One Watershed, One Plan

One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) is an important planning initiative, conceived by local governments, passed by the legislature, and being developed by BWSR.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan

The Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan (NPFP) is a criteria-based, systematic process to prioritize Clean Water Fund (CWF) nonpoint implementation investments.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

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About BWSR

BWSR Mission: Improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners

BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens.

About BWSR


BWSR works in partnership with local government units, state and federal government agencies, and other organizations.

Local Government Units and Partner Agencies -- Overview of BWSR's conservation partners, includes directories, maps, guidance documents and publications.

Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP)

Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) -- Through the PRAP, BWSR staff evaluate water management entities, and, where necessary, provide assistance.


The Technical Training page contains information on the Technical Training and Certification Strategy, program information, implementation details and programmatic updates.

The BWSR Training page has dates and locations of training sessions conducted by BWSR staff as well as other training-related information.


The BWSR Maps and Apps Portal contains maps and interactive web map applications that BWSR staff and partner agencies use to administer conservation programs.


Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155 | (651) 296-3767 | Fax (651) 297-5615 | TTY (800) 627-3529

An Equal Opportunity Employer